The Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers faced off in a playoff series in the Orlando bubble, and the teams will meet again on Monday at Staples Center. Portland arrives with a 1-1 record, while Los Angeles improved to 2-1 with a win on Sunday. Carmelo Anthony (health and safety protocols), Nassir Little (health and safety protocols) and Zach Collins (ankle) are officially sidelined for Portland. Anthony Davis (calf) is expected to play for the Lakers, though LeBron James has been listed as questionable with an ankle injury.
Tip-off is set for 10 p.m. ET. William Hill Sportsbook lists Los Angeles as a 3.5-point favorite in the latest Lakers vs. Blazers odds. The over-under for total points expected is set at 226.5. Before making any Blazers vs. Lakers picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is up nearly $8,100 over the past two seasons. Last year, it went a stunning 61-33 on top-rated picks against the spread, returning almost $2,500 on those selections alone. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Lakers vs. Blazers spread: Lakers -3.5
- Lakers vs. Blazers over-under: 226.5 points
- Lakers vs. Blazers money line: Lakers -165; Blazers +145
- LAL: The Lakers are 19-14-1 against the spread in the last 34 home games
- PORT: The Blazers are 14-20 against the spread in the last 34 road games
Why the Lakers can cover
The Lakers struggled in the season opener, perhaps due to the emotions of the pregame ring ceremony, but the team's overall performance has been encouraging. That includes dominant wins over the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves, with the latter happening without Davis in the lineup. Kyle Kuzma stepped up in a big way in the absence of Davis, scoring 20 first-half points against Minnesota, and that is an example of the Lakers' impressive depth.
From there, Los Angeles invested heavily in its second-unit offense by acquiring two of the top reserves in the league in Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schroder, which is already paying dividends on the scoreboard. Defensively, the Lakers were elite by almost any measure last season, and they ramped things up in the playoffs to an even more impressive level. In fact, Los Angeles hounded this same Portland team just a few months ago, making life quite difficult on Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and company.
Why the Blazers can cover
The Blazers are led by a tremendous backcourt in Lillard and McCollum. The duo was the biggest reason that Portland was an elite offensive team in 2019-20, finishing in the top three of the NBA in points per possession. Lillard averaged 30.0 points and 8.0 assists per game in an All-NBA season last year, and he is averaging 20.5 points and 8.0 assists per contest so far in 2020-21.
McCollum is red-hot right now, putting up 33.5 points and 5.5 assists per game to this point. Portland is a top-12 overall team in both offensive efficiency and offensive rebounding through two games, but it is ball security that is carrying the day. The Blazers are currently second in the NBA in turnover rate (9.4 percent), and that will be critical in maximizing possessions against the Lakers.
How to make Lakers vs. Blazers picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with the simulations showing the teams combining for 227 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits 60 percent of the time. You can only see that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Blazers vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread hits 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Lakers vs. Blazers spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.